\ˈfär-mər\ : a person who cultivates land or crops or raises animals such as livestock.
It’s funny to me how a person can know the definition of a word without actually knowing it. Take, for instance, the word ‘farmer.’ I would be hard-pressed to come across an individual who does not know what this word means. But on a recent trip to my Doc’s office for a routine check-up, I was asked what my current occupation was and I didn’t know the answer. “I don’t know,” I replied, “I guess I’m a stay-at-home Mom.” Doc looked at me as though I was trying to fit 10 pounds of shit in a five-pound bag, then he scribbled my answer onto his form…and it hit me. Even as the words had come out of my mouth, I knew they were only a half-truth. So why had I not made this connection before? After all of the times I had been in Doc’s exam room talking about the newborn calf, the fodder sprouting, and the chicken processing, how had it not been apparent? Maybe because titles are more than just a grouping of words to those that wear them, because it feels more like a way of life than a job.
So, here you have it: I am a farmer. I usher new life into the world. I raise that life. Sometimes, I lose a life. And in the end, I take the life. I do not consider myself to be at the head of the cycle, no. I consider myself to be a part of the cycle, a mere cog in an ever-turning wheel. My importance is not in the give and the take, the supply or the demand. My importance is in the in-between. My importance is in the actual living. In bringing a calm, centered purpose to the operation of my farm, no matter how small or big it may be. That is what I do day-to-day, regardless of the payback. And it is a badge I am honored to wear.